Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 25

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:

3:25 a.m.: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said Wednesday that his country is ready to provide a humanitarian corridor for vessels carrying food to leave Ukraine, Reuters reported citing the Interfax news agency. 

The news agency quoted Rudenko saying Russia plans to discuss possibilities of prisoner exchange with Ukraine after surrendered prisoners are put on trial for war crimes, a demand made by Russia and separatist officials, according to Reuters.  

2:50 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy said on Wednesday that he was only willing to talk directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin and not via intermediators, Reuters reported.

He added that if the Russian President “understands reality” there was the possibility of finding a diplomatic way out of the conflict. Speaking to an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Zelenskyy said that his country will fight until it recovers all its territory.

Questions have swirled about whether a negotiated solution with Putin is possible. VOA’s Dora Mekouar has the story.

2:40 a.m.: Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week in a move that marks one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine — and which could rewrite Europe’s security map.

The Associated Press has an update on scheduled talks with Turkish officials Wednesday as delegations from the two countries are set to discuss obstacles to joining the NATO alliance.

 

1:50 a.m.: Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak called on world leaders to take more action against Russia if peace is to be achieved. “The duration of this war depends on the speed of imposing energy sanctions and weapons supply,” Podolyak said in a Twitter post Wednesday.

 

1:15 a.m.: The British defense ministry said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is significantly impacting the global grain supply due to lack of “merchant shipping activity in or out of Odesa since the start of the war” in its daily intelligence report published Wednesday.

“Russia’s subsequent naval blockade of key Black Sea ports has deterred the commercial shipping industry from operating in the area,” the report said, adding “overland export mechanisms are highly unlikely to substitute for the shortfall in shipping capacity caused by the Russian blockade.”

 

12:15 a.m.: As the war entered its fourth month on Wednesday, Russian forces were relentlessly bombarding the industrial city of Severodonetsk while attempting its encirclement, a key goal of recent fighting in the Donbas region, the Agence France-Presse reported.

Russian troops are advancing in eastern Ukraine, pounding key cities and aiming “to destroy everything there,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday, as Moscow signaled it was digging in for a long war against its neighbor, the AFP said.

12:01 a.m.: Russian-born tennis star Daria Saville, who plays for Australia, says she cannot go back to Russia because she spoke publicly against its invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

“I can’t really go back to Russia,” she said to the media at the French Open.

Saville wore yellow and blue, the colors of Ukraine, at the Paris Open in March and urged Vladimir Putin to stop the war and the Russian army to return home in a post on social media.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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